CFL Bulb Disposal
There’s no doubt that compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are better for the environment—and our pocketbooks—than traditional incandescent bulbs. CFLs use up to 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
Because mercury is toxic, follow these tips to safely handle a CFL bulb:
Cleaning up a broken CFL bulb:
Open a window and have people (including you) and pets leave the room for at least 15 minutes.
Shut off central forced air heating/cooling system.
If the bulb is broken on a hard surface, carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar (with metal lid) or sealed plastic bag.
Use sticky tape to pick up any remaining pieces and powder.
Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place wipes in the glass jar or plastic bag.
Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.
Immediately place all clean up materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area for trash pickup.
Wash your hands after disposing of the materials.
CFL recycling or disposal:
If the state or local agency allows consumers to put CFLs in the garbage, the bulbs should be sealed in two plastic bags and put into the outside trash or other protected outside option.
Never put a fluorescent light bulb or other mercury-containing product into an incinerator.